Bay-vented Cotinga Doliornis sclateri


Justification of Red List Category
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it is believed to have a small population, which is declining as a result of continuing degradation and loss of its habitat.

Population justification
Rare and local (Schulenberg et al. 2007). The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A moderate and on-going population decline is suspected based on rates of habitat loss and degradation.

Distribution and population

Doliornis sclateri occurs locally on the east slope of the Andes in Peru at: Puerta del Monte (San Martín); Huicungo (3 localities, San Martín); near Tayabamba (La Libertad); near Buldiboyo (La Libertad); the Carpish Mountains (7 localities; Huánuco); Pozuco-Chaglla trail (2 localities, Pasco); and Maraynioc (Junín) (Jiguet et al. 2010). It may also occur in suitable intervening areas, but grazing and fire management may have rendered these unsuitable (G. Engblom in litt. 2003). It is apparently very rare within its habitat in Peru (G. Engblom in litt. 2003), but Doliornis cotingas are renowned for being difficult to detect, because they are relatively inactive and have soft, easily overlooked calls.


Its principal habitat is the páramo/cloud-forest ecotone at 2,600-3,800 m (Schulenberg et al. 2007). Complex unburnt, treeline habitat seems to be favoured, but is now rare, occurring only as small islands at most localities. Stomach content analysis has revealed a diet of fruit, berries, seeds and some invertebrate matter (Snow 1982). It remains poorly known ecologically, but it is likely that its requirements are similar to its congeners.


The páramo/cloud-forest ecotone habitat favoured by this species has been seriously reduced and degraded throughout its range, owing to the use of fire to maintain pastureland. Sadly, pre-Columbian sustainable land use systems were largely replaced with unsustainable agricultural techniques during the colonial period (Kessler and Herzog 1998). Such land management practices occur even inside protected areas in the region. Habitat losses in some areas have been estimated at 50% within the last 25 years (G. Engblom in litt. 2003).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Río Abiseo National Park, although there has been a serious loss of habitat at this site owing to the invasion of high altitude habitats by cattle. Deliberately started fires also still occur, but they have become less frequent in recent years (G. Engblom in litt. 2003).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to clarify its status, distribution and annual ecological requirements. Improve land-use management by segregating agricultural, grazing and forest areas (G. Engblom in litt. 2003). Regulate the use of fire (G. Engblom in litt. 2003). Reintroduce old, high-yielding agricultural techniques (G. Engblom in litt. 2003). Educate and encourage local people to take a leading role in land-use management and restoration schemes (G. Engblom in litt. 2003).


21.5 cm. Large, dark cotinga. Males have black crown and nape (with partially concealed red crests), and are dark brown above and paler brown below, with rufous undertail coverts and grey throat and sides of head and neck. Female similar, but lacks black crown. Similar spp. The only high elevation cotinga with rufous undertail coverts and pale irides, features which separate it from D. remseni.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Henry, P.Y.H., Engblom, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Doliornis sclateri. Downloaded from on 03/04/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/04/2020.